Sunny was wrongfully tried, convicted and sentenced to death in Florida in 1976. She spent five years under sentence of death in solitary confinement before her death sentence was overturned. Her practice of yoga and meditation sustained her through her ordeal. She then spent a further 12 years among the general prison population to whom she taught yoga. Her partner at the time, Jesse Pafero, who was also wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death, was executed in May 1990, two years before evidence of his innocence was made known. With the help of lawyers who worked for many years without pay and friends who assisted them in the research, Sunny's conviction was overturned in 1992.